Vulnerable young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) are receiving growing attention in policy circles. The municipality of Rotterdam is among the various municipalities and national agencies that aim to help this group of young people as well as the more specific youth which in addition seem to be “invisible” in that they are not present in official government registers (“spookjongeren”).
However, thus far, finding, understanding and helping such young people has been a very difficult endeavor as traditional sources of data hardly provide useful information. Andrea Mauri and his research colleagues from Delft University of Technology and the Centre for BOLD Cities have therefore explored if and how new sources from the internet could complement conventional sources to study NEETs. Their research focuses on user-generated content posted to the dedicated r/NEET group on the platform Reddit, which gathers about 4800 subscribers who self-identify as NEETs. They developed and implemented a new method to assess the behavioral patterns and main concerns of the NEETs that are present in this data.
The findings from this project confirm the results of previous studies that were done by the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, but also add new insights about health issues and the latent interests of NEETs that have remained untapped in official reports and scientific literature.
About the speaker:
Andrea Mauri is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Web Information Systems group at the Delft University of Technology. His current research interests include the design, implementation and evaluation of novel methods and tools for Web information systems engineering and Web data management, focusing on human in the loop and data science techniques for better understanding societal problems and provide stakeholders with instruments to address those issues. He works in the context of the JOIN “Big Data for Evidence-based Youth Policy” project, which aims to investigate to what extent social (big) data can be used to help to identify and understand “spookjongeren” and inform policies to improve their reintegration with the society.
This event was organized by the Rotterdam Knowledge Lab of Urban Big Data (http://www.urbanbigdata.nl).